regular-article-logo Saturday, 30 September 2023

Letters to the Editor: No work-from-home option for spies

Readers write in from Calcutta, Guwahati, Kanpur and Mumbai

The Editorial Board Published 30.05.23, 05:30 AM

Sourced by the Telegraph

Licence to chill

Sir — Espionage can be a highly stressful, yet thankless, job. Popular culture has shown us how the lives of spies — be it James Bond or Ethan Hunt — include potentially fatal operations and yield no recognition even in martyrdom. However, these days, there seem to be greater deterrents to choosing a life of intrigue than even death. According to Germany’s foreign intelligence service, recruits have voiced concerns about the lack of work from home facilities and not being able to carry personal cell phones to work. While it is true that spying involves travelling, in-person meetings with sources, dead drops and so on that are not possible from the comfort of the couch, the demand for reforms in the work culture seems justified after years of exploitation.


Gunjan Dhar,Mumbai

Foul move

Sir — It is disheartening that the protesting wrestlers, including Olympic medallists like Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia, and the Commonwealth and Asian Games champion, Vinesh Phogat, were brutally roughed up and detained by the Delhi Police while marching to the new Parliament building during its inauguration (“Desecration near ‘temple”’, May 29). These wrestlers won laurels for the country. They do not deserve such treatment for protesting against injustice.

Further, the police re­g­istered a first information report against the protesters within hours of their de­tai­n­ment. It had taken them seven days to file one against the Wrestling Federation of India chief and Bharatiya Janata Party parliamentarian, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who has been accused of sexual harassment by many women wres­tlers, including a minor. This is condemnable. The authorities should investigate the charges against Singh at once.

N. Ashraf,Mumbai

Sir — The way in which the Delhi Police manhandled the protesting wrestlers was deplorable. Instead of investigating the accused, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the government has been deploying law-enforcement personnel to curb the peaceful prot­est demanding his arrest (“Inherent inequalities”, May 28). Moreover, the wrestlers’ detainment on the day that the new Parliament building was inaugurated was a sign that democracy is doomed in India. The silence of the prime minister, Narendra Modi, on the wrestlers’ plight is deafening. It is in stark contrast to his ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ slogan.

Piyush Somani,Guwahati

Sir — The news report, “Desecration near ‘temple’”, was objective. While most media outlets seem to be rejoicing at the spectacle of the inauguration of the new Parliament building, it was heartening to see at least one journalistic voice stand out amidst the cacophony to narrate the injustice meted out to the protesting wrestlers.

The detainment of the wrestlers has invited global condemnation. The BJP government must break its silence on the issue and hold a dialogue with the protesters. If the country can celebrate the wrestlers’ achievements, it must also stand by them during their challenging moments.

Aayman Anwar Ali,Calcutta

Sir — Administrative action becomes necessary in case of a threat to law and order. The wrestlers’ demand for the arrest of the WFI chief is justified. But marching to the new Parliament building on the day of its inauguration was bound to invite a police crackdown.

The protesting wrestlers should not be swayed by any political party. A neutral protest will help them better negotiate their demands with the government.

Mihir Kanungo,Calcutta

False hope

Sir — The chief minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, recently said that JSW Steel is set to return a bulk of its land in Salboni to the state government (“Jindals to give back land: CM”, May 28). It is unfortu­nate that Banerjee took credit for inaugurating the Jindal Group’s factory when the land was allotted by the Left Front government. This was a ploy to divert attention from her failure to attract investors.

The chief minister also failed to elaborate on the kind of industry that would come up in the plot. Given the dismal track record of her government and the widespread corruption charges against several of her party leaders, there is no reason to be hopeful.

Jahar Saha,Calcutta

Free to choose

Sir — The Bharatiya Janata Party leader, Yashpal Benam, was recently forced to call off his daughter’s marriage to a Muslim man owing to social backlash (“Frayed knots”, May 26). In a democracy, every individual has the right to choose the partner of his or her choice, irrespective of the opinions of parents or the bigoted sentiments of any political group. In fact, inter-caste and inter-faith marriages should be encouraged to reduce social fissures.

Kiran Agarwal,Calcutta

Beat the heat

Sir — Instances of heat stroke have increased since the onset of summer. Even youngsters have been experiencing heat-related illnesses. A good way to beat the heat is to consume light, less oily food and to maintain a balanced diet. Wearing light-coloured clothes can prevent heat exposure and keep the body cool. Having fruits and fluids can also help regulate body temperature.

Kirti Wadhawan,Kanpur

Sir — Calcutta has been ex­periencing unusually long hot spells. This is due to the infrequency of nor’westers. The situation is expected to change with the onset of the monsoon. Hopefully, the city will receive substantial rainfall in the coming months.

Murtaza Ahmad,Calcutta

Sir — Calcutta has had an excruciating summer. The news that the monsoon will come on time has brought some cheer to the city.

Rima Roy,Calcutta

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